Guildford Book Festival appoints new co-directors

Guildford Book Festival appoints new co-directors

Alex Andrews and Jane Beaton have been appointed co-directors of the annual Guildford Book Festival.

Andrews joins the festival from The Book People, where she managed Puffin Post and Puffin Book Club Magazines under licence from Penguin Books. After the return of the Puffin brand to Penguin in 2013, Andrews, in her role as sales and marketing manager, worked on the Imagine Festival at Southbank and the Red House Children’s Book Award. Prior to this, Andrews worked at children’s publisher Templar, where she was head of publicity, and also at Scholastic.

Beaton has worked in publishing throughout her career and is a former head of publicity at HarperCollins where she worked for 14 years. Since 2009 she has been running her own company, Kew Publicity, working with publishers and authors to promote books across a wide range of subjects. She has also been involved with literary festivals and award ceremonies including the London Sports Writing Festival and the British Sports Book Awards. Among the authors she has worked with are Stephen Fry, Gordon Ramsay, David Beckham, Gene Wilder, Bono and Professor Winston, and the late Alan Whicker.

Andrews said: “I am extremely lucky to be working on such a wonderful festival in my home town. I am thoroughly enjoying matching venues (some of which I’ve known for years) with new authors and book events."

Beaton added: “It is an enormous privilege to be given the task of running Guildford Book Festival. I have brought authors to the festival before so know of its excellent reputation, and look forward to continuing, and building, on its success.”

In further changes, Pat Grayburn MBE DL has been appointed the first president of the festival, in recognition of her "significant" contribution to festival since its inaugural event in 1990. Andrew Hodges, a trustee of the festival, becomes chairman of trustees.

Hodges said: “I am delighted that Pat Grayburn has accepted our invitation to become president of the festival in recognition of her dedication and support of the festival as chairman since its inception. Guildford Book Festival has been fortunate in appointing two experienced women, Alex and Jane, as the new co-festival directors and we wish them well in building on the Festival's increased successes of recent years.”

Pat Grayburn MBE DL said: “The Book Festival is very dear to my heart, having been chairman for 27 years, and it is a great honour to be named President.  I am confident that our new co-directors will produce a Festival equally as exciting as its predecessors.”

The 27th Guildford Book Festival takes place between 9th and 16th October.